Katz Group presents ‘The Dome’ plans in Frankfurt



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Frankfurt The Dome - Katz Group Image: Katz Group

The makers of the ‘The Dome’ project – The Katz Group of Companies, one of Canada’s largest private firms, presented their plans in the Römer – the city hall and one of Frankfurt’s most important landmarks – for the very first time. recently. Katz Group plans to keep the property in its portfolio and operate it after completion.

The multipurpose arena ‘The Dome’ will accommodate up to 23,000 supporters and will come up next to the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Once completed, it will be the largest indoor arena in Germany, and the second-largest in Europe.

Initiator Felix Scheuerpflug presented the project with architect Michael Felka and Volker Hoff, former Hessian Minister of State for Federal and European Affairs (CDU), to Markus Frank, Head of Sports and Economic Affairs, and Jan Schneider (both from CDU), Head of Building, and the leaders of the coalition parties.

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) is a political party in Germany.

A 250-room hotel and a small hall which can fit in 4,000 spectators will also come up in an open space as part of the multiuse development – ‘The Dome’. It will be adjacent to the parking spot of the The Squaire office building and the Congress Center in Frankfurt. Scheuerpflug informed that the property belonged to Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport and will be made available for the development. The Canadian Katz Group is the backer of the project and will build the €300 million development sans public grants.
 

Extensive discussions

Scheuerpflug stated that his team had already held extensive discussions on the traffic concept and building law issues with “high-level officials and authorities”.

The Löwen Frankfurt – the professional ice hockey team based in Frankfurt – and United Volleys Frankfurt, the men’s volleyball team from Frankfurt, has already signed preliminary contracts at the behest of the Katz Group – and will play in one of the largest multifunctional arenas in Europe.

Huge marketing agencies and big music companies are in talks with ‘The Dome’ operators. The initiators of the project have so far invested two million euros.
 

Fraport-bashing

Fraport – the transport company which operates the Frankfurt Airport – has come in for a lot of flak over ‘The Dome’ project. The land on which the development will come up is owned by Fraport.

The Dome’ is the latest in a series of proposed new arena projects in Frankfurt. It is emerging as a rival arena project to a multifunctional facility being planned in Kaiserlei – a railway station in the municipality of Offenbach am Main, located in Hesse, Germany.

The Kaiserlei project is hanging fire involving the City of Frankfurt Question marks have been raised over the legitimacy of ‘The Dome’ project. The site itself would reportedly be troublesome from a regulatory perspective, while plans for Fraport to lease the land would likely necessitate a public tender process. Experts even say that ‘The Dome’ project is very “unrealistic”.

“Fraport cannot simply leave a property to an investor without a prior tender,” Markus stated. He met representatives from Langano, the bidding consortium that is planning a multifunctional arena at the Kaiserlei. A lot of feet dragging are going on over the project and Frank is firm to translate the project into reality.

The site on which the hall is to be built is owned by the Almosenkasten Municipal Foundation and has not yet been made available. A new difficulty has come into play. A paper presented to Frank by experts on the topic of urban drainage pointed out emerging problems with wastewater disposal.

As per the experts, where the multifunctional hall at Kaiserlei is to come up, there is a mixed water channel and an underlying drainage channel – “Both channels are heavily used. For reasons of explosion protection, the canal must not be built over. So, if the multifunctional hall at Kaiserlei is to be built, the canals have to be relocated or “the building concept has to be adapted. At certain points, explosion protection measures would have to be provided for the building which translates into more expenditure and it would also be time-consuming.”

Markus does not think the ‘water channel’ factor would prove to be a serious hurdle to realizing the Kaiserlei project. He sums up by saying, “The channels will be relocated. For such a significant project, such hurdles can be overcome.”

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